Holistic Counselling is a unique therapy focusing on the ‘whole’ of a person, including their life experiences, mental and emotional outlook, and physical state. This regard for the greater whole, views the mind, body, and spirit as fundamentally interconnected and influencing health. A Holistic Counsellor will take an integrative approach to healing by guiding people to discover and access their own inner wisdom, spiritual awareness, and to break free from destructive behaviours. This optimistic model of therapy may result in a new and improved state of mental, spiritual and physical health. Furthermore, there are core philosophical beliefs that underpin the working relationship between a holistic Counsellor and the patient, including:
- the patient being granted the space to take responsibility for determining their own life direction
- unlocking the patient’s inner resources to determine their own destiny
- lowering anxiety and unravelling confusion – this is the first practical step in problem management
- facilitating a person-centred approach rather than focusing on the 'problem'
What to expect when visiting a Holistic Counsellor
Holistic Counselling is more than just talk therapy, techniques provide people with a holistic way to deal with a crisis or to move beyond an old stressful pattern, creatively adapting to life’s events. It is grounded in specific goals, philosophies and beliefs to facilitate an awareness of:
- undeveloped potential
- possible new and productive opportunities that were not yet identified
- preferred and more constructive scenarios
- capacity to gain more SELF control
- the need to focus on what would be better rather than what is going wrong
These new understandings transform feelings of alienation and dis-empowerment into a sense of personal freedom, peace, harmony and community. In addition to the Holistic Counselling techniques used, the therapist may also utilise relaxation techniques, life skills, motivational counselling, flower essences, dream analysis, etc. These are all tools within the Holistic Counselling framework to facilitate self-discovery and growth to promote well-being in the patient. The two qualities that a holistic counsellor brings to the relationship is respect and genuineness. The counsellor creates and provides an environment that is safe, nurturing, and supportive. They do this by:
- Being there for the client
- Having a willingness to work with the client at the pace that respects the individual needs of the person
- Supporting the uniqueness of the experiences of the client
- Assisting the client to find their personal meaning enabling them to be self-determined
- Suspending critical judgement - they do not judge nor condone the client’s behaviours
- Communicating empathy to display an understanding of the client and their worldview
- Utilising the client’s experiences to increase greater self- understanding and awareness
- Maintaining a productive working relationship with the focus on healing and wholeness
What is the difference between Holistic and Traditional Counselling?
Traditional Counselling methods consider the psychological ramifications of issues and behaviours. Whereas, Holistic Counselling assesses and supports the person in a physical and spiritual context alongside the psychological and mental elements of Traditional Counselling.
Content has been provided by Australian Holistic Healers & Counsellors Association